Monday, November 30, 2015

November's Notes: Butler has barged its way to the top of my mind, along with Laney and Richmond

This is the "high school edition" of my November's Notes series:

Laney's December first visit to Richmond has been the topic of the high school basketball conversation for weeks. People will pack the stands of the two hundred plus year Academy to see the area's three division one signees (Laney's Christian Keeling and Zep Jasper, and Richmond's Madison Williams) play for a partial claim to bragging rights as the city's best team.

Full bragging rights are not yet on the line. Not necessarily because it will be the first game of December, but because the path to the top of the area hill will include a stop at Butler, among other places. The Bulldogs showed why Friday by soundly beating Richmond.

Coach Cervantes Boddy's group has quickly leaped to the top of my mind as I anticipate another Richmond-Butler matchup this Friday (which will hopefully include Williams, who sat out of last Friday's game), and eventually rematches of the city's best games of 2015, region showdowns between Butler and Laney.

Also on the horizon is a matchup I've circled between Butler and Josey on the opening night of region 3A action, December 15th. Josey was shorthanded in recent losses and will soon have its say in the area conversation.

Laney has gotten much attention and rightfully so. We haven't seen the Wildcats lose a game in this area for nearly two years! And Jasper and Keeling are currently impersonating Augusta University's Keshun Sherrill and Paine College's Denzel Dillingham by posting a combined 147 points in their first three games.

Richmond has been the talk of the town with the addition of Williams, the emergence of sophomore Donta Stephens, and a deep roster of capable players. The Musketeers have every chance to prove they belong at the top of the minds of area fans when they host Laney and Butler Tuesday and Friday.

But it is probably Butler that is playing the best basketball at the moment. The inside-outside, extremely athletic combination of Will Lambert and Deandre Barton have not been answered by any team so far. Another junior, Jerry Leverette, has lit up the scoreboard with 8 threes in the two games I've seen. And seniors Jzwa Collier and Kyler Haynes provide scoring and leadership for coach Boddy's red hot group.

Enough with the notes, I'll now look forward to the players deciding things in the gym!

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